The Big Sad: Clare Rojas and Barry McGee
Thank you for Staying: Raymond Pettibon
It’s About Time! and space: Jon Roach and Dan Nguyen
March 30, 2008 – May 17, 2008
Opening Reception: Sunday, March 30, 2008, 4 - 7pm

Riverside Art Museum
3425 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA  92501
Contact: Micah Carlson, marketing Coordinator
Phone: 951.684.7111, ext. 312  ●  Fax: 951.684.7332

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Admission: $5.00 per visitor / Museum members, students, children 12 & under FREE

The Riverside Art Museum announces the opening of three complementary exhibitions: The Big Sad: Clare Rojas and Barry McGee; Thank You For Staying: Raymond Pettibon; It’s About Time! and space: Jon Roach and Dan Nguyen. An opening reception will be held March 30, 2008, 4 – 7 PM.
These exhibitions bring together three major contemporary artists and two local emerging artists united in their use of collaboration, the inspiration they derive from urban street life, and the references they make to subjects and elements not traditionally found in fine art. Whether made in a studio or during a public performance, these works are the result of contemporary artists coming together to create social interactions. Not limited to landscapes and portraiture, they give credence to graffiti, music subcultures, folk art, street people, surfing, motorcycles and current design culture.
“This is art I am really passionate about and I’m excited for this eclectic combination of artists to be at the museum,” says Adult Education Curator Lee Tusman, curator of the three exhibitions. Daniel Foster, Executive Director states, “These exhibitions further strengthen the museum’s growing priority and focus on contemporary exhibition programming and projects.”
Clare Rojas and Barry McGee have long been associated with the "Mission School", a loose collection of artists inspired by the culture of the street, originally based in the Mission District of San Francisco. Their works are often shown clustered together, mixing handcrafted paintings with scraps scavenged from the street with photographs and other artwork found at thrift stores. For The Big Sad exhibition, the artists will be including hand-painted work on banjos and surfboards.

Thank You For Staying features Southern Californian artist Raymond Pettibon, a cult favorite among underground music fans for his early association with the Los Angeles punk rock scene. The exhibit brings together a selection of paintings recently made during his EARWAX performance with bassist Mike Watt (from the legendary LA band The Minutemen) live at the museum this past January. The works themselves reference Watt’s bass playing, lyrics and titles from his songs, the southern California landscape, and even the musician’s legendary Ford Econoline. The title of the exhibit references the last painting Pettibon created at EARWAX, a painting of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev with the line “Thank You For Staying” painted above it just as Watt played the last musical notes of the evening. These paintings are now part of the permanent collection of the Riverside Art museum.

Jon Roach is a Riverside native and member of a new generation of artists equally inspired by fine art and design. For the exhibit It’s About Time! and space, Roach has collaborated with Dan Duy Nguyen of the street-art group Demonslayer to create site-specific installations in the museum’s display cases. Where Roach tends to employ thin hard lines and a monochromatic palette, Demonslayer’s work features bright colors, a freestyle cast of whimsical characters, and soft sculpture. Each artist has designed an installation for a bank of three display cases that flank the entrance to the museum’s Art Alliance Gallery. ”We as artists didn't start out trying purposely to catch the eye of the fine art world,” says Nguyen, “We were just expressing ourselves and doing what we love. Gradually, the fine art world shifted to include us in their definition, so here we are."
The Big Sad, Thank You For Staying and It’s About Time! and space will remain on view until May 17, 2008.

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